Silence, peasant!

October 10, 2010

President Thinskin strikes again: While in Iowa at the end of last month to hear from the common folk in their own backyards, Obama was met with unwanted honesty from one of the little people. So, what’s an enlightened being to do when one of the mundanes says something other than praise? Why, cut off his mike, of course:

Trying to sell his economic record in Iowa yesterday, President Obama got an earful from a successful businessman who pleaded with him not to raise taxes.

“One of the things that concerns me is the repeal of the Bush tax cuts,” said David Greenspon, referring to Democratic plans to raise taxes on individuals earning more than $200,000 a year and on families and certain businesses earning more than $250,000.

“The repeal — I don’t care if it is 5 percent — that’s 5 percent that would create a job,” he told Obama during a meeting with about 70 people in a couple’s back yard in Des Moines.

“Five percent on millions of dollars of profit creates many jobs . . . As the government gets more and more involved in business and more and more involved in taxes, what you’re finding is you’re strangling those job-creation vehicles.”

Before Greenspon could complete his question, his microphone was cut off and taken out of his hand.

You’d have thought, after the Joe the Plumber incident, that the President would be more careful when wandering into people’s neighborhoods. Americans, after all, have a habit of speaking their minds even to big shots with big titles – and maybe especially to them. One of the skills a politician needs is being able to react with grace even to those who disagree with him. Instead, as the article relates, Obama showed petulance and frustration.

And, of course, incidents like this just reinforce the image that Obama is an out-of-touch elitist who only hears what he wants to hear. A leader, especially in a democratic republic, needs to hear contradictory views if he is to govern effectively. Cutting off Greespon’s mike, on the other hand, is a symbolic slamming of the doors to the ivory tower. It’s a “Kodak moment” that captures the essence of the progressive attitude: “We know best, so be quiet and do as you’re told. You’re welcome.”

Way to bond with the common man, sir.

Via Hot Air.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)

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Maybe they’re all trying out for Cabinet posts?

September 10, 2010

Perhaps inspired by the example of Treasury Secretary Timothy “Turbo-tax” Geithner, 41 White House aides owe a collective $831,000 in back taxes. And, as the LA Times’ Andrew Malcolm explains, the problem isn’t just limited to the West Wing:

Over the years a lot of suspicion has built up across the country about Washington and its population of opportunistic transients coming to see themselves as a special kind of person, somehow above average working Americans who don’t work down in that former swamp.

Well, finally, an end to all those undocumented doubts. Thanks to some diligent digging by the Washington Post, those suspicions can at last be put to rest.

They’re correct. Accurate. Dead-on. Laser-guided. On target. Bingo-bango. As clear as it’s always seemed to those Americans who don’t feel special entitlements and do meet their government obligations.

We now know that federal employees across the nation owe fully $1 billion in back taxes to the Internal Revenue Service.

And here’s just one example:

In the House of Representatives, 421 people owe a total $6,524,892. In the Senate, 217 owe $2,774,836. In the IRS’ parent department, Treasury, 1,204 owe $7,670,814. At the Labor Department, where Secretary Hilda Solis’ husband had some back-tax problems before her confirmation, 463 owe $7,481,463. Eighty-one workers for the Federal Reserve System’s board of governors owe $1,076,733.

Yet Congress wants to raise taxes on all of us to pay for health care and all the other stupid ideas wonderful reforms its enacted?

“Obedience to the law is for thee, not for me!” cried the oligarch.

Maybe they should garnish the deadbeats’ wages until the backlog is cleared, instead. Just a thought.

LINKS: Hot Air.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


(Video) I want your money!

September 2, 2010

From (oddly enough) IWantYourMoney.net, a trailer for their forthcoming documentary on government spending and the role of the federal government. Trust me, it’s much more entertaining than it sounds:

From the movie’s description:

Set against the backdrop of today’s headline – 67% of Americans don’t approve of Obama’s economic policies, the film takes a provocative look at our deeply depressed economy using the words and actions of Presidents Reagan and Obama and shows the marked contrast between Reaganomics and Obamanomics.

The film contrasts two views of the role that the federal government should play in our daily lives using the words and actions of Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama.

Two versions of the American dream now stand in sharp contrast. One views the money you earned as yours and best allocated by you; the other believes that the elite in Washington know how to best allocate your wealth.

One champions the traditional American dream, which has played out millions of times through generations of Americans, of improving one’s lot in life and even daring to dream and build big.

The other holds that there is no end to the “good” the government can do by taking and spending other peoples’ money in an ever-burgeoning list of programs. The documentary film I Want Your Money exposes the high cost in lost freedom and in lost opportunity to support a Leviathan-like bureaucratic state.

The movie releases October 15th, just in time for midterms. Quite the coincidence, that.

I’ll be looking for it.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Want to know why unemployment is staying high?

August 9, 2010

Michael Fleischer, the president of a New Jersey small business, provides the quote of the day to explain why unemployment is staying so high, and why businesses aren’t hiring:

When you add it all up, it costs $74,000 to put $44,000 in Sally’s pocket and to give her $12,000 in benefits. Bottom line: Governments impose a 33% surtax on Sally’s job each year.

You can read the gory details in Michael’s article, but that quote encapsulates the problem: government impositions in the form of health-care costs and other programs (and, really, it’s all a form of taxation, however they dress it up) increase the cost of each new hire to the business – it’s more than just salary. And the new burdens imposed by ObamaCare have, in Mr. Fleischer’s case, put the cost of hiring more employees beyond what it makes sense for his company to pay.

Hence, thanks to the progressive-statist program of President Obama and the congressional Democrats, the very forces that would work to lower unemployment are instead stifled. Is this what we voted for?

Thankfully, we can start correcting the mistake this November.

(via Sister Toldjah)

RELATED: For an excellent book on an earlier time when government’s anti-business policies kept people out of work, read Amity Shlaes’ The Forgotten Man: a new history of the Great Depression.

UPDATE: MichaelW at QandO has the best summation of this situation:

…when the government continually raises the costs of doing business in the first place (or threatens to do so), the only ones who really survive are either the politically connected or the very wealthy (yes, they are often the same thing). That doesn’t have anything to do with building a better mousetrap, as it were, or growing the economy. And it certainly doesn’t do anything to raise everyone’s standard of living. Instead, all it does is reward those closest to the rule-makers, thus creating more competition to be closest to the King rather than satisfying the marketplace. It is exactly the sort of crony-capitalism we claim to detest.


So, you want a value-added tax?

July 30, 2010

Democrats and some Republicans are floating the idea of a value-added tax to help ease the crushing deficits caused by the (Social) Democrats’ massive spending binge. Before you say “Sure, why not?”, take a look at the VAT rates that would be required over the next ten years to eliminate the deficit:

(Click to enlarge)

Remember, that tax would be applied at every stage of production, from raw materials to the moment you purchase the item, and the costs would be passed along to you.  Oh, and then you’d pay state sales tax, too.

Still think it’s a good idea?

Here’s a better one. Maybe they should cut spending and borrowing, instead. Idea

RELATED: Reasons why a VAT won’t work.

(via dmataconis on Twitter)


ObamaCare: the penalty for not buying insurance

June 19, 2010

After much back and forth over whether the penalty the government may assess for not carrying the proper health insurance constitutes a tax (and thus breaks Obama’s promise not to raise taxes on the middle class), the matter is settled.

According to President Obama’s own Department of Justice, it is.

So there.  Phbbbttt

(via Power Line)


Hillary Clinton: the rich don’t pay their fair share

May 30, 2010

ReasonTV’s Nick Gillespie looks at the hard facts behind the Secretary of State’s assertion and reminds us that the definition of “fair” depends on your point of view:

UPDATE/RELATED: At Big Government, Thomas del Beccaro writes about a debate between Larry Kudlow, Stephen Moore, and former Clinton Labor Secretary Robert Reich about fairness and the proper level of taxation.